When to Consider a Home Addition

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Considering a Home Addition for Needed Space

If you’re suddenly feeling like the walls of your house are closing in, it may be time to consider a home addition. Additions allow you to create the home of your dreams without the hassle of selling your home and moving. As one of the top NJ home remodeling firms who have successfully completed numerous home additions over the years, we’ve seen plenty of scenarios where adding extra space was an extraordinary decision.

Working from Home

The work from home trend is exploding, with CNN Money reporting a 41 percent increase over a recent 10-year period. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics adds another notable stat to the mix, reporting that 24 percent of the American workforce telecommutes, or performs work tasks at home on a regular basis. A new office or private business space might be nice for all that working at home as it allows for the separate space from daily life and may help you keep a regulated environment to better focus.

Expanding Families

Nearly 4 million babies were born in 2012, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, with preliminary numbers for 2013 adding another 4 million to households across America. A home addition can serve as the perfect solution to a growing family looking for more space. Add a brand new nursery, or perhaps a brand new room for an older child that is willing to give up his or her old bedroom for the expected baby. Plus, teenagers are notorious for craving their space, and a home addition can be a way to give it to them.

You may also find yourself needing a large living or kitchen area due to an expanding family. Add a two-story addition and incorporate both a living space and bedroom, or possibly a new bathroom.

Marriage and Retirement

Marriages and retirement are two more reasons to consider a home addition. The CDC reports that 2.1 million marriages took place in 2013, and if any of those couples are moving into one or the other’s existing homes, they may find space a bit cramped. This is especially true if they plan to have children or if there are already children involved.

The same can hold true for a retired couple that are suddenly spending much more time at home after years in the workforce. Home additions bring new life to the place, not to mention what they can do for some elbow room.

Desired Rooms

Maybe you always wanted a formal dining room or a bar to entertain guests, you just never had the space. You love your home and don’t plan on leaving anytime soon, so why not just add on that room you want so bad? Home additions can help your home grow with you and your family over the years.

If you are looking to renovate your home with an addition, contact Trade Mark Design & Build today to receive and estimate on your project. You can also visit our showroom located in Hawthorne, NJ for some unique inspiration ideas.

Summer Projects for Family Bonding

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For property owners living in NJ, home remodeling projects completed during the summer mostly involve exterior improvements such as adding a patio or improving on an existing patio, building a fire pit to make their block parties the best in the neighborhood or constructing a screened-in back porch to enjoy sitting outside on pleasantly warm summer evenings without getting eaten alive by mosquitoes.

nj home remodeling

Other popular summer home projects include:

Installation of energy efficient windows–reducing skyrocketing air conditioning bills and increasing the value of a home are two great reasons for replacing old, unattractive and ill-fitting windows with windows designed to prevent heat or cold from escaping your home.

Quick bathroom remodeling tips–updating old chrome fixtures, replacing a stained vanity with one that is stylish and trending or adding “smart” features such as touch screen or remote options for water and temperature control, light intensity and music selections are all nifty methods to give your bathroom a much-needed makeover in the summer.

Additional NJ home remodeling projects currently trending and in demand are:

  • Painting interior walls with vibrant colors such as lemon yellow, lime green, nectarine orange and even varying shades of red.
  • Replacing hardware and fixtures with a highly polished brass much brighter than traditional “hammered” brass.
  • Creating a “man-cave” or home office out of an existing, unused area of a garage or house has also been a popular and easy summer project for New Jersey homeowners.

Spending time making improvements to the house when the kid’s are home from school can be a great bonding experience. Need more than a lift? Contact us today at  973-636-0100 for your NJ kitchen remodeling and home remodeling.


Colors and Your Mood

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Is it time to give your house a face lift? Break away from plain white walls by adding dashes of color that inspire, refresh and improve your moods. A few color options and how they can influence the way you feel:

nj kitchen remodeling

Bright, Saturated Colors for Energy

In 1994, researchers are UCLA did a study that indicated that a color’s effect on us was determined, in part, by how bright and saturated the color is. Bright colors make us cheerful, saturated ones give us focus. So, a warm orange wall in your kitchen will wake you up more than a paler shade.

Yellow for Focus

Consider sunny yellow accents for your in-home office. The color yellow has been found to increase focus. Adding it to your working space can enhance your concentration and more productive. You can introduce the color through curtains, picture frames and wall moldings, or, add it to a single wall in the room. Avoid painting an entire room yellow, though. In studies, too much yellow was found to cause anxiety.

Sleep Well with Cool Colors

At the end of a long day, all you want to do is unwind. Add pale blue, gray or muted greens to your bedroom or bathroom to make those rooms a haven from the hectic world outside. Cool colors slow the heart rate and help you transition into a calmer mood. You’ll feel less stress and sleep better at night.

Take advantage of the power of color during your NJ home remodeling by adding hues that inspire the moods you desire. Mood-enhancing hues help set the stage for a home that makes you and your family feel your best.


Home Lighting and Your Mood

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Did you realize how big of a difference lighting has on your mood? According to an article by American Family Physician, about 4 to 6 percent of people suffer from winter depression and up to 40 percent may have some changes in mood during the winter months. While this is based on the body’s reaction to sunlight (or lack thereof,) interior lighting can affect your mood as well.

home additions

Different Lighting for Different Rooms

Each room in your home may have a different “mood” associated with it. In your kitchen or an office, you want something bright and inspiring. However, in your dining room you may want something soft and conducive to good conversation. Do not just look at the “big picture,” look at the room’s purpose and decide on the right option based on this.


One way to give yourself flexibility in mood is by utilizing lamps. Sometimes you may want a bright overhead lighting to encourage you to get work done while in other cases you may only need soft mood lighting. While you can accomplish this with adjustable overhead lighting, adding a lamp may be easier, and you get the benefit of the decorative aspect too.

Lighting is a very important part of your home’s overall appeal and interior feel, and it can affect your mood. Because of this, it is imperative that you put a lot of thought into your lighting choices, especially during house additions. Starting a new piece of your home with the right mood will benefit your project greatly.


5 Easy Home Projects To Increase Your Home’s Value

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According to a National Home Improvement Survey conducted by HomeGain, there are many actions one can take on their own to increase the value of your home. In fact, the survey showed that affordable (and easy) DIY home projects such as simple de-cluttering and deep cleaning, adding fresh paint, wallpapering and enhancing storage space not only increases your chance of selling your home quickly but also gives you leverage to ask for–and get–the price you want.

nj home remodeling

Top 5 Easy Home Projects

1. Brighten your home by installing new light fixtures, skylights, or replacing old windows with energy-efficient, easy-to-open windows. Potential property buyers aren’t looking for a dungeon-like home lit by one lightbulb hanging naked in the hallway. They want illumination, sunlight and the appearance of a spacious, healthy living area.

2. Forbes Magazine states that “buyers want storage”. This means sellers will increase the desirability of their home by adding storage space in all rooms, especially bedrooms and bathrooms. The addition of shelving units in closets, in room corners or kitchen areas are great DIY projects that will convince buyers your home has plenty of storage space.

3. Embellish a boring kitchen with a new, decorative backsplash. Inexpensive backsplash materials include ceiling tiles, wallpaper, wooden beadboard or elegant stainless steel.

4. Accessorizing kitchen cabinets by exchanging old hardware for more aesthetic knobs and hinges will make your kitchen appear as if it had been completely renovated. Cabinet hardware comes in pewter, brass, bronze, chrome, ceramic and a variety of polished woods.

5. Are you interior doors mismatched or just plain boring? Upgrade worn-out bedroom, bathroom and entrance doors with noise-dampening doors referred to as “solid-core”. Not only will they suppress house and street noises but they come in a variety of woods and designs to stylize and improve the value of your home.

While these are actions that can be taken by most homeowners, more substantial improvements and changes require professional help. If you are looking for NJ home remodeling, give us a call today at 973-636-0100.


5 Reasons to Consider Home Automation

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The wave of the future has truly arrived with home automation, and there are at least five firm reasons why you should ride this amazing wave. Home automation lets you control your home’s electronic equipment and systems with the easy push of a button or simple voice command instead of having to physically and manually interact with each piece of equipment or system. Home automation holds many benefits, and can be incorporated into your house addition or next remodeling project.

home renovation nj


Home automation systems let you easily keep track of various components in your home through a single and simple user interface. You’ll be able to tell at a glance which lights are being used, the temperatures in specific rooms and which electronics are turned on or off.


Home automation systems typically include a home security and surveillance system so you’ll always know what’s going on – even if you’re miles away. You can access your system through your mobile device to monitor activity and receive alerts if anything is amiss.


If you love the music you’re listening to in the kitchen, you can program your home automation system to have that same music follow you in the living room, basement or den. You’ll likewise be able to control and integrate your video and home theater options throughout your entire home.


Climate control climbs to a whole new level with home automation, letting you program in your ideal temperature settings that can also follow you from room to room.


Precise control over your home electronics and systems can end up saving you money on your energy bills. Additional energy savings can come from home automation options such as shade control, which adjusts the amount of incoming sunlight.

The total savings can add up, eventually offsetting the initial home automation investment while giving you the simplification, protection, entertainment and comfort every home deserves.


Redecorating? Don’t Shy Away From Color and Patterns

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Adding chevron print curtains can add a pop of fun to a more subtle design.  Picture: Decorpad
Adding chevron print curtains can add a pop of fun to a more subtle design.
Picture: Decorpad

Whether your NJ home remodeling project is all done or you’re still in the planning stages, at some point, you’re going to want to think about how to manage your interior design dreams together your new house addition and budget. When it comes to fabrics, the key to a designed look is to strike just the right balance between color and pattern. Here are five simple tips to get you started when working on the interior design for your house addition:

Chevron prints are all the rage this season. Add a colored rug to brighten up your living room.
Chevron prints are all the rage this season. Add a colored rug to brighten up your living room.
  • Start with a foundation color or two that you really like (if using two, just make sure they complement each other and don’t clash).
  • Now look for three patterns that use your color, either as a primary color or in some small detail. This is the factor that will bind all your patterns together. Don’t choose three of the same type of pattern; mix them up – for instance, look for a plaid, a stripe and a floral rather than trying to use three florals. This creates depth and also keeps the room from looking cluttered.
  • Look for patterns of different sizes – for instance, a large floral, a medium stripe and a small plaid.
  • Match the scale of the pattern to the scale of the room: small room, small patterns; large room, large patterns. Medium patterns work well in any size room.
  • Likewise, match the scale of the pattern to the scale of the furniture: larger patterns work best on sofas and love seats while small patterns are better suited for chairs or ottomans.
  • Patterns still making you nervous? Choose neutral fabrics for larger pieces and add color and pattern on smaller pieces like an ottoman or side chair, or with accessories like colorful pillows or throws that can easily be changed as your tastes evolve.

As a leading New Jersey home remodeling company, Trade Mark Design & Build can help you get the look you want for your home sweet home. Contact us today at 973-636-0100 for your free estimate.



Wood floors top the list for homeowners and home buyers

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This Trade Mark kitchen remodeling project  features light wooden flooring.
This Trade Mark kitchen remodeling project features light wooden flooring.

When it comes to choosing a flooring material for your home, one thing is clear: No other flooring material has the same classic appeal and warmth of natural wood. Unlike other types of flooring that can be “dated” to a specific time or style, wood floors work well with any style of home, from Victorian and French country to Arts and Crafts and contemporary.

That’s one reason why it remains a top choice for New Jersey home remodeling clients. It’s also a feature that’s highly prized by home buyers, who know a wood floor won’t “lock” them into a specific color or style like carpeting can.

Wood floors are also versatile, allowing you to easily highlight specific areas of a room, define a conversation grouping or change a room’s entire style, simply by adding a throw rug or two. That also makes them an ideal choice for homes with open floor plans, where a uniform floor material like wood can help every area of the space work in harmony.

Finally, while carpets begin to look worn and old after only a few years of regular use, wood floors develop a patina as they age. Most of today’s finishes are designed to withstand years of regular use, and when a floor does become worn, it has the added advantage of being fully restorable.

Of course, wood isn’t the best choice for all rooms. Puddles and high humidity can cause wood to warp, so for bathrooms and other rooms with high levels of humidity, materials like vinyl or ceramic tile are better choices.

At Trade Mark Design & Build, we work with our NJ home remodeling clients to create solutions for every area of the home. From installing a few cabinets to complete house additions, we can help you get the home you want at a price that suits your budget. Contact us today at 973-636-0100 or fill out our online form and request your free estimate.



3 Iconic Women Architects

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In the arena of building, architecture and design, female contributors often get lost in the shuffle of a heavily male-dominated industry.  Over the years doing New Jersey home remodeling, we always look to our role models in design for inspiration and ideas. There are many female architects and designers that have contributed so much to the field and created iconic design masterpieces that inspire us today. In celebration of Women’s History Month, here are a few of architecture’s leading female icons.

Downtown Buffalo’s historic Hotel Lafayette designed by Louise Blanchard Bethune










Louise Blanchard Bethune – The first recognized woman to work as a professional architect in the United States, Bethune started her own architecture firm in 1881. She was responsible for buildings ranging from stately hotels to school buildings, and pioneered one of the first US projects to use steel framing and slabs of poured concrete in construction.

Norma Merrick Sklarek's Pacific Design Center
Norma Merrick Sklarek’s Pacific Design Center









Norma Merrick Sklarek – One of the first African-American female architects to obtain an architect’s license in the United States, Sklarek operated primarily in New York, though her nation-spanning career would later take her to California. In the 1980’s, she kept her record-breaking momentum going by forming the first architectural firm to be created and run by an African-American woman.

Hearst Castle Library interior
The interior of the Hearst Castle library









Julia Morgan – Aside from her extremely memorable work on California’s Hearst Castle, Morgan also holds the distinction of being the first female to be granted an architectural degree from the l’Ecole nationale superieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris, in 1902. She was also responsible for the majestic Los Angeles Examiner building, as well as a variety of other projects for the Hearst publishing empire.

Has the thought of these trailblazing architectural feats inspired your own ideas at home? Call Trade Mark Design & Build today and let us help you build your own visually stunning legacy at home. This of course is by no means an exhaustive list. Tell us in the comments, who is your design inspiration?